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Submarine Chaser Photo Archive


Sunk 9 October 1918

SC-1 Class Submarine Chaser:

  • Laid down in 1917 by the Newcomb Lifeboat Co., Hampton, VA
  • Commissioned USS SC-219, 19 February 1918
  • Served in the western Atlantic area until September 1918, when she began a voyage to the European war zone, by way of Bermuda and the Azores, in company with several other subchasers. While in mid-Atlantic during the
    afternoon of 9 October 1918, SC-219 was refueling alongside USS Chestnut Hill (ID 2526) when she suffered a gasoline explosion in her radio room. Set afire by the blast, the submarine chaser sank less than two hours
    later. Four Sailors lost their lives in this accident and another eight were injured.


  • Displacement 85 t.
  • Length 110'
  • Beam 13' 6"
  • Draft 6' 3"
  • Speed 18 kts.
  • Complement 17
  • Armament: One 3"/23 gun mount, two .30 cal. machine guns, and one depth charge projector "Y Gun"Propulsion: Three 220 shp Standard gasoline engines, three shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SC-219 68k Photo from photograph albums of World War I subchasers (No. 11502-b), Special Collections, University of Virginia Library. The Sub Chaser Archives
    SC-219 81k SC-219 (center distance) afire and sinking in the Atlantic on 9 October 1918. Another submarine chaser and what appears to be a tug are standing by. Photographed by Chief Yeoman S.D. McGee, USN, from USS Chestnut Hill (ID 2526), which was escorting a group of submarine chasers across the ocean. One of the SCs is in the foreground.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 41982
    Naval Historical Center
    SC-219 87k "The Last of The S.C. 219." SC-219 burning at sea on 9 October 1918, while she was en route across the Atlantic with a group of submarine chasers, accompanied by USS Chestnut Hill (ID 2526). Some of the other SCs, and what appears to be a tug, are standing by the burning vessel, which sank as a result of her damage.
    Collection of George K. Beach, who was a crewmember of USS SC-331 at the time.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 99633
    Chestnut Hill 99k Chief Gunner's Mate Oscar Schmidt Jr., USN

    For gallant conduct and extraordinary heroism while attached to the U.S.S. Chestnut Hill, on the occasion of the explosion and subsequent fire on board the U.S. submarine chaser 219. Schmidt, seeing a man, whose legs were partly blown off, hanging on a line from the bow of the 219, jumped overboard, swam to the sub chaser and carried him from the bow to the stern where a member of the 219's crew helped him land the man on the afterdeck of the submarine [chaser]. Schmidt then endeavored to pass through the flames amidships to get another man who was seriously burned. This he was unable to do, but when the injured man fell overboard and drifted to the stern of the chaser Schmidt helped him aboard.

    Halftone photo from Medal of Honor, 1861-1949, The Navy, page 124. It was taken several years after World War I.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 79446

    Bill Gonyo

    Commanding Officers
    01ENS Robert Mudge Curtis, USN19 February 1918 - 9 October 1918
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    There is no DANFS history available for SC-219
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Patrol Craft Sailors Association
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Type Index Back to the 110' Submarine Chaser (SC) Photo Index

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    This page created by Joseph M. Radigan and maintained by Tom Bateman
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